Every year, in early August, you start to hear people who live in temperate northern hemisphere climates mourn the passing of another summer, even though there are several weeks of the season yet to be enjoyed. Summer camp and vacations may be winding down, and school beginning soon, but it only takes a peek at the garden and the thermometer to realize that summer is still going strong. Lobsters, tomatoes and corn are all plentiful, so we've put together a recipe, below, that makes delicious use of all three.
You can make and chill the jam, and par-boil and chill the lobsters, up to 24 hours in advance, so that when guests arrive, all you've got to do is fire up the grill, slice up some watermelon and open a chilled bottle of Chardonnay, whose full body and moderate acidity make a good match for this sweet, buttery and lightly piquant dish. We've provided a list of outstanding and very good Chardonnays, recently rated by Wine Spectator's editors.
• 1 pound red, orange or yellow cherry tomatoes
• 1 large red, orange or yellow beefsteak or heirloom tomato (about 12 ounces), cut horizontally into 3 thick slices
• 4 tablespoons butter
• 1 ear of corn, cooked, kernels cut from the cob
• 4 live 1 3/4-pound lobsters
• 2 tablespoons salt, plus more to taste
1. Preheat the broiler. Line a broiling pan with foil and arrange the tomatoes on the pan. Arrange the oven rack so that it's about 4 inches from the heating element and broil the tomatoes, removing the cherry tomatoes to a bowl after about 8 minutes, when they've begin to split, and broiling the slices for another 5 to 7 minutes, until they're very soft, with darkening edges. Transfer all of the tomatoes to a blender or the bowl of a food processor fitted with the blade attachment. Divide the butter into 4 pieces and add to the food processor. Pulse until blended but still chunky. Add the corn and salt to taste and pulse for a few seconds more. If making ahead, refrigerate until about 1 hour before you're ready to serve.
2. In a pot large enough to hold the lobsters (you may have to work in batches of two), boil enough salted water to submerge them. Set up a large ice bath nearby. Humanely kill the lobsters, one at a time, by placing them perpendicular to you on a cutting board. Tuck the lobster's tail underneath its body. Quickly insert the tip of a large chef's knife at the point where the head meets the body and slice vertically through the lobster's head. Then put the lobsters in the pot and let them boil, covered, for just 2 minutes. Remove from the pot and transfer immediately to the ice bath to stop the cooking. Repeat with the remaining lobsters, if you're working in batches.
3. Preheat the grill. While the grill heats, split the lobsters in half vertically. Place a lobster facing you on a cutting board. (It's a good idea to place kitchen towels or paper towels under and around the cutting board to keep juices from running all over your work surface, and keep the cutting board firmly in place.) Place the tip of a heavy chef's knife or cleaver in the center of the lobster, near where the carapace meets the tail. Line up the knife and check to be sure the claws are not in the path of the knife. In one forceful and swift motion, split the front half of the lobster vertically. Turn the lobster around and repeat this same motion, splitting the tail. Repeat this process with the remaining lobsters. Place each lobster half on the grill, flesh side down, and cook for about 5 to 7 minutes, until the flesh is just cooked through. Serve lobsters hot, with the tomato-corn jam alongside. Serves 4 to 8.
Note: The following list is a selection of outstanding and very good wines from recently rated releases. More wines can be found in our Wine Ratings Search.
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